“The Real Beauty is Inside You”: An Interview with Blossom Jeju’s Founder Sungna Kim

As female founders and CEOs of our own company, Glow Recipe, we wanted to show our support for other female entrepenuers. We find it incredibly important to shine a light on the amazing successes of women in business around the world. In the first of a series of interviews with the females who head the brands with curate, we speak to Sungna Kim, the founder of Blossom Jeju, about work-life balance and the true meaning of beauty.

What is the meaning of Blossom Jeju?

Blossom Jeju represents how Jeju is an beautiful island of blooming and fruiting all throughout the year – Camellia flowers bloom even during the winter. Inspired by the characteristics of Camellia, the Soombi skincare line reflects the strength and beauty of the flower.

Sungna Kim, founder of Blossom Jeju, picking Camellia flowers on the island.

What’s Blossom Jeju’s and your motto?

When I had started Blossom Jeju, I promised 3 things to myself – first, cosmetics should be honest and pure. It’s like the honest and pure beauty that nature gives to us. Blossom Jeju tries to put these qualities and values into the products with minimal processing.

The second thing is regards me and our customers. I already know what kinds of problems women like me have and what we desire. Ultimately, I want to help those women find not only their outer beauty, but their inner beauty as well. I strongly believe healthy skin will bring out their inner energy to make their lives more enjoyable.

The third thing is giving back. Although it might look small, I’d like to support the Jeju environment and local communities in the long term. Since I was able to start this company thanks to Jeju’s natural gifts, I want to support and be involved with our local communities. It could come in the form of a charity, a community event, or even a school activity to help whatever we can.

How long has it been since you started Blossom Jeju?

I started my business in July of 2013.

After spending a lot of time abroad, I decided to visit my grandmother’s hometown, Jeju Island to ease my mind. In Jeju, my exhausted mind and body were able to heal thanks to what nature provided me: wholesome food, clear water, and an amazing environment. I realized these are the important elements of having a balanced life.

The Camellia flower that inspired the Blossom Jeju line of products

How would you like to explain your self in a short sentence

I’m a woman who loves nature, and wants to have a healthy and beautiful life.

Is there anything you found difficult as a female founder? How did you overcome it?

I have never thought that there is anything I cannot do because I am a woman. I always have a strong trust in myself. However, sometimes there are physically challenging moments. To overcome these, I run, I swim in the ocean, and I surf –  things I can do in Jeju’s nature environment. Working out always gives me a bright and positive energy which helps me overcome many difficult things.

What has been the happiest moment since you started Blossom Jeju?

When I first started Blossom Jeju, I was struggling because I could not find any retailers. One time, I had a chance to promote our products at a tangerine conference to a buyer who was working in a big department store. It was my happiest moment because it was the first time that I was able to promote our products and to meet customers who were interested in my products.

What was your first step as a career women? How did it help you build your own brand and business?

I did not have that much experience. I majored in industrial design. After graduation, I worked and traveled in China for 8 years. When my friends were building on their career-related experiences, I was searching for a long-term career. Although there was no visible success during that time, I experienced so many valuable things such as meeting people, discovering culture, and reflecting on myself. From these remarkable experiences, I was able to find my strengths that are tiny but magnificent.


Please tell us your secrets to balancing personal life and work life

Although I am not married yet, it is important for me to manage a balance among work, love, and life. I do not have to separate each one. For example, I think about planning when hanging out with people I like and I daydream about my life while I’m working. I think this works for me, and I can keep doing my work slowly, but steadily, for a long time.

You might be always busy because of working. What time do you wake and go to bed?

I wake up at 6am. I organize my thoughts and finish any work that I can do myself for the next 3 hours until work begins at 9. After 9, time goes by so fast, because work is non-stop. After work, I have a nice dinner with my family and I watch inspiring videos or read a book before I go to bed.

What’s the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning?

I check the news while I drink coffee.

What is the most important thing in cosmetics?

Cosmetics are like a friend who can help women like me to led healthy life. Although they don’t solve all skin problems, cosmetics can help women to be healthier and happier.

Sungna Kim loves to surf off the coasts of Jeju Island

Sungna Kim loves to surf off the coasts of Jeju Island

Is there any beauty routine or know-how that only you have?

I recommend that people exercise at least for a short period of time before they use cosmetics or skincare. Exercising helps to improve skin because it stimulates cells and provides energy. It helps to improve the effects when we use cosmetics.

How do you wish customers remember Blossom Jeju by?

I try to put my experiences of becoming healthier and happier after I moved to Jeju Island into Blossom Jeju products. I would like to create a brand that helps people slowly and naturally find real beauty even though you cannot see immediate visible effects. I wish for Blossom Jeju to be like a friend who helps to find real happiness in people’s life.

Do you have special quotation you like?

The real beauty is inside you.

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